Christian Orthodoxy came to Minot, North Dakota with Greek immigrants. In the year 1912, a group of 250 men from Greece arrived in Minot, North Dakota to work on the Great Northern Railway. In 1921, the first baptism by a Greek Orthodox priest took place in Minot. The first liturgy was celebrated at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in 1934. Parishioners came from all corners of the Greek world. Unfortunately the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese was no longer able to provide a priest. St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church services came to a close in 1976. The church went without a full time priest for several years, but was able to continue services with temporary priests through the Orthodox Church in America. In 1980 the parish formally joined the Orthodox Church in America and became St. Peter the Aleut Orthodox Church. The church now includes parishioners of multiple different ethnicities including converts. We are now an "American" Orthodox church with services in English.
Saint Peter the Aleut was a native of Kodiak Island, Alaska, Tchounagnak, whose Christian name was Peter, worked at the Russian outpost of Ft. Ross in California. When the Spanish colonial government ordered the expulsion of the Russian-American settlers in 1816, Peter was arrested with 13 other Aleuts. Roman Catholic monks came to the prison at night to torture them to renounce Orthodoxy and embrace Romanism. They cut off Peter’s fingers one joint at a time, then his toes, until they had cut off his hands and feet. He bled to death. Upon hearing this from one of the surviving Aleuts, St. Herman stood before an icon and pronounced, “Holy New Martyr Peter, pray to God for us!” He is holding a Cross to show his Martyrdom. His hand is raised to show that it is fully restored in the Resurrection!
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